© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2018

'It's as if it's a crime to be poor'

Antoinette Spicer

Former Human Rights Commission advisor Karolin Potter has blasted Housing New Zealand over needless evictions for methamphetamine contamination.

Potter spent 14 years at the commission, but made the comments at a recent Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board meeting.

An elected community board member now, Potter took aim at Housing New Zealand for evicting tenants from homes that had tested positive for methamphetamine contamination.

She cited a report conducted by Sir Peter Gluckman, the prime minister's chief science advisor, which says third-hand exposure from methamphetamine smoke does not make people sick. Millions of dollars have been spent testing homes for meth contamination, cleaning them and evicting tenants.

"It's as if it's a crime to be poor," Potter said.

She said vulnerable people, including children had lost shelter based on evidence that turned out to be "crap".

Potter called on Housing New Zealand to re-house and reimburse "every single person" evicted from their home due to botched meth testing.

"We should not be as punitive to people who are poor. They [Housing New Zealand] evicted these people through no fault of their own," she said.